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Want to Know the Secrets to Restaurant Franchising

As a restaurant owner you have found yourself in a position where you have great traction, great sales and perhaps you have even won some awards for your food. Your restaurant may have been recognized and it is very satisfying to know that what you have created has produced a positive effect on people. When you first started your restaurant you dreamed about the day you could say that you are sitting in a good place. Now that you are in this position you may find yourself saying, “I have a good thing going. Maybe now is time to franchise my restaurant.” You may be wondering what are the secrets to restaurant franchising. You figure there has to be some universal pattern, formula or secret when it comes to restaurant franchising; and you wonder if what you have done so far and all your accomplishments put you a step ahead. So sit back, relax, grab yourself a shot of tequila and take a look at this article below. It might just shed some light on your questions.

In the Beginning

We can’t talk about the secrets to restaurant franchising without mentioning the beginning. What is the beginning you ask? Well it all starts with your look, your feel, your philosophy and your culture. In other words, really everything you have come up with since you started your restaurant. If you are like most restaurant owners, there is a reason for: the layout of your restaurant, how your kitchen is setup, how your front of house is designed, how many tables you have on the floor, where tables are placed; and how you have decorated the restaurant (or in other words your entire setup). The way you have setup your restaurant contributes to its success. So, when it comes to franchising it is all about making your model scalable and easy for other people to duplicate the same setup. Creating a franchise program that uses your restaurant (or parts of it) as a blueprint will make the process of setting up another restaurant easy to follow and is one of the keys to franchising (see some of the steps to to franchise your restaurant).

Restaurant Operations

The things you do daily to run your restaurant and the shortcuts you have created to make operations easier along with the things that you think are just common sense are really another set of secrets to restaurant franchising. Your years of experience and the many ways you maximize efficiencies to control costs, make food and serve people is what makes your restaurant successful. Teaching these things to other people involves explaining it, showing it and doing it. It’s really not that hard and you are already doing it with the employees who you hire. The difference is that when it comes to franchising these shortcuts and efficiencies are being taught to people who have put everything on the line to open a restaurant just like yours in their market. These operators are motivated to learn your shortcuts, your efficiencies and your common sense approach to running a restaurant because if they do not do the same; then it’s not going to work as well for them as it does for you.

One of the secrets to restaurant franchising is not so much documenting everything that you do (because it’s NOT all about paperwork). It is really about showing, teaching and explaining all your processes, methods and techniques that you have come up with to run your restaurant; all of which lend to your success (and subsequently the success of these operators). This means simplifying every element of running your restaurant such as how: inventory is ordered, food is prepared, invoices are paid, employees are scheduled for shifts, customers are served, etc. The idea is to make teaching how to operate your restaurant fool proof.


Innovation means changing things up. This could mean rotating out old menu items, adding new recipes, coming up with new or seasonal dishes, etc. all of which you are probably doing in your restaurant now. Whether you know it or not, you are constantly innovating to keep your customers or guests (depends how you look at it) coming back. It is no different in franchising except what you create, test and do in your restaurant will be rolled out to all of your operators. Think about it for a minute, your operators are busy running their restaurant. They don’t have time to put together a new recipe or a new dish and if they did they would have to run it by you anyway. Another secret to restaurant franchising is keeping things fresh, updated, incorporating new technologies and how innovative you are with the basics that you have already created (read more about keeping your brand fresh when franchising). You can see several examples in the marketplace of franchising companies that over the years have become innovative by adding new offerings in an effort not to be known just for one thing or to become stagnant.

Always Involved

It is called support. An important aspect to franchising success is the type and amount of assistance and support you provide to your operators (such as mentoring your operators, providing hiring and training tips, etc.). Being involved also includes what you are doing to further your entire system (for example, this could mean: forging new relationships with vendors, establishing preferred pricing, rolling out national account relationships, etc.). These are just a few of the many different ways that as a franchisor you would be adding value for your operators (more on the topic of adding value for your franchisees). These things are hard to do, yet alone finding the time to make it all happen. Franchising in general is not a quick upstart; in restaurant franchising it is slow and steady that wins the race. That is right, bringing on people who learn what you do, how you do it and have the resources at their fingertips to turn to for questions and operational concerns results in successful operators who are committed to you and your brand. This type of commitment only happens with your involvement (check out our article on why franchising requires your involvement). Keeping your finger on the pulse, knowing what challenges your operators face, attacking such challenges and constantly being a visionary will drive your franchise system. And soon, before you know it, you go from one happy operator to a dozen to fifty to hundreds and it simply compounds from there.

Franchise systems that recognize and practice some of these best practices and secrets to restaurant franchising are the ones that experience astronomical growth. Success is contagious and when people see it, they want to be part of it. You may be perfectly content with where you are and what you have done. And maybe it is best for you to keep things at status quo. But if you are like most restaurant owners who have attained a level of success already, there is always a hunger for more. The next level is either organic growth or franchising (read about the differences between growing organically versus franchising). Determining which path is best for you really depends on what you want out of the equation and your end goals. These are just a few of the secrets to restaurant franchising that we hope you found helpful while you downed that shot of tequila. If you are amped up and you want to get into this in more detail then give us a call directly at 1-877-615-5177. Let’s determine if restaurant franchising is right for you.

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